Gulf of Aden Security Review

A regularly updated review of both Yemen and the Horn of Africa covering topics related to security, governance, and militant activity.

Yemen: Key ROYG officials meet with Iraqi officials; Houthis ban instant messaging services; STC officials in Aden sign agreement to build a residential city on an island in Taiz governorate 

Somalia: The United States sanctions IS-Somalia weapons traffickers; al Shabaab militants kidnap four civilians in northern Kenya; the United Nations Security Council extends the international humanitarian mandate in Somalia for another year

Yemen Security Brief:

The Iraqi foreign minister and Iraqi president met with the Yemeni foreign minister and Yemeni president in separate meetings between October 30 and November 1 during the Arab Summit in Algiers, Algeria. The two foreign ministers discussed bilateral relations and recent Houthi attacks on energy infrastructure in southern Yemen on October 30.[i] The two presidents discussed bilateral relations.[ii]

The Houthi Communications Ministry banned the use of instant messaging services, including Zoom and Google Duo.[iii]

Southern Transitional Council Secretary General and Aden Governor Ahmed Lamlas signed an agreement with a Salafi sheikh to build a residential city on the island of Mayyun, Taiz governorate, using UAE funds.[iv] The Houthis claimed that UAE is building a “base” on Mayyun.[v]

Somalia Security Brief:

The United States sanctioned nine Islamic State-Somalia weapons traffickers on November 1. The targeted individuals are primarily responsible for revenue collection and weapons trafficking.[vi] The sanctions highlighted that many of the targeted traffickers have “specifically sold weapons to or were active al-Shabaab members” and have strong ties to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula despite their Islamic State affiliation.

Al Shabaab militants kidnapped four people from an ambulance near El Wak, Mandera County, northern Kenya, on November 2.[vii]

The United Nations Security Council extended the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) humanitarian mandate on November 1 until October 31, 2023.[viii]

[i] Saba (ROYG), “Bin Mubarak meets Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs,” October 30, 2022,

[ii] Saba ROYG, ”The President of the Presidential Leadership Council discusses with the Iraqi President the bilateral relations between the two countries,” November 1, 2022,

[iii] 4May, ”Houthi militia bans a number of messaging programs,” November 1, 2022,

[iv] Ali al Sakani, Twitter, October 31, 2022,

[v] (Houthi), “The UAE establishes military bases in (Mayun) and removes them from Taiz,” November 1, 2022,

[vi] U.S. Department of the Treasury, “Treasury Sanctions Terrorist Weapons Trafficking Network in Eastern Africa,” November 1, 2022,

[vii] Halbeeg, ”Suspected Al-Shabaab Fighters Abduct Four in Mandera,” November 1, 2022,

[viii] Goobjoog News, “UN Security Council extends mandate of UNSOM mandate in Somalia,” November 1, 2022,

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